How to Avoid eBay Fraud

September 26, 2008

eBay is a fast and convenient way to find good deals and unique items. Although, there are always risks attached to online transactions, eBay realizes these dangers and they are doing all they can to protect buyers and sellers from fraud.

However, there are still some that are able to make use of eBay’s extensive features to broker fraudulent deals for the purpose of scamming or phishing. Below are some tips on how you can protect yourself from the most common eBay frauds.

Some emails sent to you pretend to be official emails from eBay. These mails provide you a link to follow, directing you to a website the looks very similar to that of eBay.

The sender will pretend to want to check the validity of your account or to track an item for you, instructing you to log into your eBay Account.

Many unsuspectingly fall into this trap and they end up giving away personal information such as credit card details, passwords, and Social Security numbers.

Most spoofs are executed very well, making them impossible to detect. eBay strongly recommends that you download the eBay Toolbar equipped with Account Guard.

Having this feature will let you know whether or not the eBay or PayPal site you are on is real. eBay also has a tutorial section on spoof protection that you can access anytime. Also, eBay never asks for sensitive information via email.

Seller feedback
The Seller Feedback feature allows potential buyers to check a seller’s reputation within the marketplace.

Both positive and negative feedbacks are opportunities for a buyer to fully understand how the seller tends to operate and whether or not the seller’s preferences suit yours.

It is not enough to judge a seller based on the total score and percent positive. Details like unique positive and negative feedback can also help.

There could be sellers that give themselves positive feedbacks thereby increasing overall positive count. Competitors on the other hand may give a number of negative feedbacks to discourage potential buyers from a particular seller.

Checking out the comments after negative feedbacks may also help you gauge the seller’s reputation.

Check out my own ebay profile and you will see that I am a very reputable buyer/seller and I usually deal with sellers who have a vary good feedback rating

Credit card and only
Be wary of sellers who do not accept PayPal and who prefer money transfers instead.

Complete your transactions with credit cards.

Because eBay also owns PayPal, you will be able to get help as either buyer or seller when things don’t go well.

Also, this method will allow you to maximize the security provided by your credit card company.

Read item descriptions well
Carefully reading item descriptions is the easiest way to avoid eBay fraud.

Bold claims could mean danger.

If it’s too good to be true, chances are, it is too good to be true.

A number of spelling or grammatical errors could mean that the description is making an attempt to avoid detection.

Be extra careful when making overseas transactions.

The items could be counterfeit, and customs cost and shipping cost could more than triple the price of the item.